Category: ships and shipping

Liverpool Naval Memorial

Liverpool Naval Memorial may be found on the Mersey River Bank between the Ferry Terminal  and the Museum of Liverpool. (GPS co-ordinates: 53.40349, -2.99659). There are 1408 identified casualties from the Second World War  on the memorial. 

The memorial was designed by C. Blythin and S.H. Smith and was unveiled by the Admiral of the Fleet, The Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope, K.T., G.C.B., O.M., D.S.O., on the 12th November 1952.

More than 13000 officers and men from the Merchant Navy served with the Royal Navy and they were  subject to Naval discipline while generally retaining their Merchant Navy rates of pay and other conditions. Liverpool was manning port for many of the various types of auxiliary vessels, including armed merchant cruisers and boarding vessels, cable ships, rescue tugs, and others on special service. 

Representative panel

Representative panel

Two of the more well known ships on the memorial are HMS Rawalpindi and HMS Jervis Bay which were both sunk protecting their convoys from German surface raiders.

The memorial is a difficult one to photograph as it is a very popular spot with people, and I was never really able to get decent photographs of it from land side, and the closest I got from the ferry was:

It is also very close to the statue of Captain Frederic John Walker RN.

Appropriately the Merchant Navy Memorial is also in this area.

This was not one of my better memorial explorations, but if ever I return I will rectify the situation.

DRW © Created 16/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:10

Merchant Navy Memorials, Liverpool

The Merchant Navy Memorials in Liverpool are situated on the waterfront facing the Mersey and the Birkenhead side of the river bank.  The city played an important role in the Battle of the Atlantic as Western Approaches Command was based in the city, and many of the men and ships that sailed in the convoys came from this port.

A few metres further is a raised block with a number of relevant dedications. The two memorials are between Google Earth co-ordinates: 53.403829°  -2.996822°

Of particular relevance was this plaque that does not really make up for the lack of recognition of men and women from so many other countries that lost their lives in the Merchant Navy during both wars.

There was also an Arandora Star Plaque which served as a reminder that all ships were in danger of being sunk, whether combatant or non-combatant.

Norwegians, Poles and Belgians are also commemorated on this block.

Unfortunately these plaques are mounted on what appears to be some sort of housing for some unidentified machinery/access chamber and really do not connect too well with the Merchant Navy Memorial close by. I would have thought that a unified MN memorial would have meant much more instead of having these two distinct groupings that appear as an afterthought. 

The Maritime Museum also had a very good Merchant Navy exhibition on while I was visiting. 

A few steps away is the Liverpool Naval War Memorial which I will cover separately.

DRW © 2018. Created 05/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11

Liverpool Cenotaph

The Cenotaph in Liverpool may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates  53.408540°,  -2.979478°, it is situated in front of St George’s Hall and consists of a  rectangular block of stone on a platform, with bronze, low-relief sculptures on the sides depicting marching troops and mourners. It was designed by Lionel Budden, with carving by Herbert Tyson Smith. It is a Grade I listed building.

​The inscription on the front face reads:

TO THE THE MEN OF LIVERPOOL WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR

AND ALL WHO HAVE FALLEN IN CONFLICT SINCE.

AND THE VICTORY THAT DAY WAS TURNED INTO MOURNING UNTO ALL THE PEOPLE

 

This addition to the Cenotaph was unveiled in May 2003 by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Jack Spriggs. The inscription reads: 

THIS PLAQUE COMMEMORATES

THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

AND THE PIVOTAL ROLE PLAYED BY THE CITY

AND PORT OF LIVERPOOL IN THIS THE

LONGEST AND MOST CRUCIAL SEA AND AIR 

CAMPAIGN OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR

THIS BATTLE LASTED 5 YEARS, 8 MONTHS, 4 DAYS;
HAD IT BEEN LOST, SO TOO WOULD HAVE BEEN THE WAR

BY THE MARKER, LIVERPOOL’S  UNPARALLELED SERVICE
AND SACRIFICE SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.

As far as Cenotaphs go it is really not a very noticeable one, although the carvings are very beautiful. It is really overshadowed by the very large St George’s Hall behind it and while appropriate to the setting is just does not make much of an impact. 

The inscription on the rear face reads:

AS UNKNOWN AND YET WELL KNOWN AS DYING AND BEHOLD WE LIVE.

OUT OF THE NORTH PARTS, A GREAT COMPANY AND A MIGHTY ARMY

It was only dedicated in November 1930 and the delay was attributed to the Lord Mayor who announced that due to the high unemployment he was postponing the appeal for funds. The appeal was finally initiated in 1925.

DRW © 2018 Created 04/08/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11

Waterline Ships Master List

Master list of ships in my collection. 

Ship Maker Ship Maker
Cunard Line      
Queen Elizabeth Triang Minic HMS Turmoil x 2 Triang Minic
Queen Mary Triang Minic HMS Vanguard Triang Minic
Carinthia Triang Minic KD Bismarck Triang Minic
Ivernia Triang Minic KD Scharnhorst Triang Minic
Caronia Triang Minic HMS Gloucester (D96) Triang Minic
RMS Aquitania Triang Minic USS Spruance Triang Minic
2nd Mauretania Resin Steam tugs 8 Triang Minic
QE2 Revell HMS Vigilant (M787) Triang Minic
    HMS Bulwark Triang Minic
United States Triang Minic HMS Ark Royal (R07) Triang Minic
NS Savannah Triang Minic IJN Yamato Triang Minic
Varicella Triang Minic USS Missouri Triang Minic
Britannia Triang Minic HMS Swiftsure Triang Minic
Canberra Triang Minic HMS Repton Triang Minic
Vikingen Triang Minic HMS Sutherland Triang Minic
Isle of Sark Triang Minic USS Bunker Hill Triang Minic
City of Durban Triang Minic USS Guardian Triang Minic
China bulker Triang Minic HMS Bangor (M1099) Triang Minic
C2 Cargo x 4 Triang Minic HMS Brockleberry Triang Minic
Aragon Triang Minic HMS Whitby (M791) Triang Minic
Nieuw Amsterdam Triang Minic HMS Daring (M77) Triang Minic
Flandre Triang Minic HMS Daring (D32) Triang Minic
The Victoria Mercury HMS York (D98) Triang Minic
 Oriana Mercator HMS Chatham (F87) Triang Minic
 France Triang Minic HMS Whitby (M798) Triang Minic
Union-Castle Line   HMS Alamein (M799) Triang Minic
CT Castle rebuild Hein Muck Resin  HMS Dainty (M773) Triang Minic
Carnarvon Castle Albatros  Pilot boat Triang Minic
Capetown Castle Hein Muck Resin Ferry Triang Minic
Athlone Castle Len Jordan Resin Diesel tugs 2 Triang Minic
Stirling Castle  Len Jordan Resin Floating crane Triang Minic
Pendennis Castle CM    
Pretoria Castle Albatros HMS Begonia x 2 Navis Neptune
Dunottar Castle Hein Muck Resin HMCS Snowberry Navis Neptune
Llandaff Castle Len Jordan Resin HMS Tulip  Ensign
Reina Del Mar Len Jordan Resin HMS Bangor Neptune
Rochester Castle Resin HM Submarine K26 MB Models
Durban Castle Hein Muck Resin HM Submarine K5 MB Models
Windsor Castle  Albatros HM Submarine X-1 MB Models
Transvaal Castle CM HM Submarine M-2 MB Models
Deutschland CM Submarine tender Saar Mercator
SS Ohio Len Jordan Resin 5 x unbranded corvettes Oceanic
Australis Resin HMS Tiger Mountford
Liberty ship Len Jordan Resin HM Castle class trawler MB Models
Rapana Len Jordan Resin River Class Frigate Neptun
City of Durham Len Jordan Resin HMS Achilles (F12) Mountford
City of Durban Len Jordan Resin    
Victoria Len Jordan Resin HMS Warspite Atlas Editions
Arcadia Len Jordan Resin HMS Nelson Atlas Editions
Reina Del Pacifico Hein Muck Resin USS Essex Atlas Editions
Andes Hein Muck Resin HMS Hood Atlas Editions
Marco Polo Resin HMS Prince of Wales Atlas Editions
Ocean Terminal  Triang Minic HMS Renown  Atlas Editions
Floating dock  Triang Minic SS TItanic  Atlas Editions
 Empire Day  Len Jordan Resin RMS Lusitania Atlas Editions
 Leda   CM    
 RMS St Helena x 2  Oceanic  SA John Ross  3D print
 RMS St Helena (1)  3D print  SA Wolraad Woltemade  3D print
       

DRW ©2018. Created 04/02/2018

Updated: 16/06/2018 — 19:30

John Travers “Jack” Cornwell VC

John Travers “Jack” Cornwell 08/01/1900 – 02/06/1916 was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on board HMS Chester during the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916.

The Citation reads:
“The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the grant of the Victoria Cross to Boy, First Class, John Travers Cornwell, O.N.J.42563 (died 2 June 1916), for the conspicuous act of bravery specified below. Mortally wounded early in the action, Boy, First Class, Jack Travers Cornwell remained standing alone at a most exposed post, quietly awaiting orders, until the end of the action, with the gun’s crew dead and wounded all round him. His age was under sixteen and a half years.”

On 31 May 1916, Chester was scouting ahead of the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron at the Battle of Jutland when the ship turned to investigate gunfire in the distance. At 17:30 hours, the Chester soon came under intense fire from four Kaiserliche Marine cruisers each her own size which had suddenly emerged from the haze and increasing funnel smoke of the battlefield. The shielded 5.5-inch gun mounting where Cornwell was serving as a sight-setter was affected by at least four nearby hits. The Chester’s gun mountings were open-backed shields and did not reach down to the deck. Splinters were thus able to pass under them or enter the open back when shells exploded nearby or behind. All the gun’s crew were killed or mortally injured except Cornwell, who, although severely wounded, managed to stand up again and remain at his post for more than 15 minutes, until Chester retired from the action with only one main gun still working. Chester had received a total of 18 hits, but partial hull armour meant that the interior of the ship suffered little serious damage and the ship itself was never in peril. Nevertheless, the situation on deck was dire. Many of the gun crews had lost lower limbs due to splinters passing under the gun shields. British ships report passing the Chester to cheers from limbless wounded gun crew laid out on her deck and smoking cigarettes, only to hear that the same crewmen had died a few hours later from blood loss and shock.

After the action, ship medics arrived on deck to find Cornwell the sole survivor at his gun, shards of steel penetrating his chest, looking at the gun sights and still waiting for orders. Being incapable of further action, Chester was ordered to the port of Immingham. There Cornwell was transferred to Grimsby General Hospital, although he was clearly dying. He died on the morning of 2 June 1916 before his mother could arrive at the hospital. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Cornwell

He is buried in the City of London Cemetery, Manor Park, East London.

The 5,5 Inch gun that Jack Cornwell manned is on display at the Imperial War Museum.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 21/05/2017. Jack Cornwell grave courtesy of Mark Green.

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:47

Donald Owen Clarke GC

Donald Owen Clarke (05/03/1923 – 08/09/1942) was posthumously awarded the George Cross for his actions on 08-09/08/1942 off coast of Trinidad while a crewman of the tanker San Emiliano.

“On the night of the 8th-9th August 1942, Clarke was serving on board the tanker “San Emiliano” when it was hit by two torpedoes and her cargo of petroleum burst into flames, turning the ship into an inferno. Clarke was trapped in his cabin but fought his way out on deck and boarded the only lifeboat that was still intact. It was full of burnt and wounded men, and he himself was badly burnt on the face, hands and legs. When the boat was lowered onto the sea, it started to drift back towards the flaming tanker and it was evident that it would require a tremendous effort to pull it out of danger. Most of the occupants, however, were so badly injured that they were unable to help. Despite his injuries, Clarke took an oar and pulled heartily for 2 hours without complaint, and only when the boat was well clear did he collapse and then his hands had to be cut away from the oar as the burnt flesh had stuck to it. He died a few hours later of his injuries.”

Clarke’s body was lost at sea off the coast of Trinidad, and he is commemorated on the Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill in London.

 

© DRW 2016-2018. Information from Victoriacrossonline

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:49

William Charles Williams VC

William Charles Williams (15/09/1880 – 25/04/1915) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the landings at Gallipoli in 1915.

The Citation reads:

“On 25 April 1915 during the landing on V Beach, Cape Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey, Williams, with three other men (George Leslie Drewry, Wilfred St. Aubyn Malleson and George McKenzie Samson) was assisting the commander (Edward Unwin) of their ship, HMS River Clyde (previously the SS River Clyde) at the work of securing the lighters. He held on to a rope for over an hour, standing chest deep in the sea, under continuous enemy fire. He was eventually dangerously wounded and later killed by a shell whilst his rescue was being effected by the commander who described him as the bravest sailor he had ever met.”

His body was lost in the carnage of Gallipoli, and he is Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial panel 8 column 1

 

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 28/02/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:41

Gerard Broadmead Roope VC

Gerard Broadmead Roope (13/03/1905 – 08/04/1940) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while commanding  HMS Glowworm in 1940, in the Norwegian Sea. The recommendation for the award and supporting evidence was provided by the enemy. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 37170 Page: 3557 reads:

“The late Lieutenamt-Commandar Gerard Broadmead ROOPE, Royal Navy

On the 8th April, 1940, H.M.S. Glowworm was proceeding alone in heavy weather towards a rendezvous in West Fjord, when she met and engaged two enemy destroyers, scoring at least one hit on them. The enemy broke off the action and headed North, to lead the Glowworm on to his supporting forces. The Commanding Officer, whilst correctly appreciating the intentions of the enemy, at once gave chase. The German heavy cruiser, Admiral “Hipper, was sighted closing the Glowworm at high speed and an enemy report was sent which was received by H.M.S. Renown. Because of the heavy sea, the Glowworm could not shadow the enemy and the Commanding Officer therefore decided to attack with torpedoes and then to close in order to inflict as much damage as possible. Five torpedoes were fired and later the remaining five, but without success. The Glowworm was badly hit; one gun was out of action and her speed was much reduced, but with the other three guns still firing she closed and rammed the Admiral’ Hipper. As the Glowworm drew away, she opened fire again and scored one hit at a range of 400 yards. The Glowworm, badly stove in forward and riddled with enemy fire, heeled over to starboard, and the Commanding Officer gave the order to abandon her. Shortly afterwards she capsized and sank. The Admiral Hipper hove to for at least an hour picking up survivors but the loss of life was heavy, only 31 out of the Glowworm’s complement of 149 being saved.
Full information concerning this action has only recently been received and the VICTORIA CROSS is bestowed in recognition of the great valour of the Commanding Officer who, after fighting off a superior force of destroyers, sought out and reported a powerful enemy unit, and then fought his ship to the end against overwhelming odds, finally ramming the enemy with supreme coolness and skill.”

His body was lost at sea and he is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial panel 36 column 3.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 28/02/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:06

Alfred Edward Sephton VC

Alfred Edward Sephton (19/04/1911 – 19/05/1941), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Second World War On 18 May 1941 in the Mediterranean, south of Crete, while serving with HMS Coventry when she went to the assistance of a hospital ship which was being attacked by German dive-bombers. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 35365 Page: 6889, reads:

“The late Petty Officer Alfred Edward Sephton, P/JX.I3082I, H.M.S. Coventry.
Petty Officer Sephton was Director Layer when H.M.S. Coventry was attacked by aircraft, whose fire grievously wounded him. In mortal pain and faint from loss of blood he stood fast doing his duty without fault until the Enemy was driven off. Thereafter until his death his valiant and cheerful spirit gave heart to the wounded. His high example inspired his shipmates and will live in their memory.”

His body was not brought ashore for burial and presumably was buried at sea. He is Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, panel 46 column 2

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 28/02/2016

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:10

Frederick Thornton Peters VC, DSO, DSC*

Frederick Thornton Peters (17/09/1889 – 13/11/1942) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during Operation Reservist,  an attempt to capture Oran Harbour, Algeria during the Second World War. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 36019 Page: 2215  reads:

“The late Acting Captain Frederick Thornton Peters, D.S.O., D.S.C., Royal Navy,
For valour in taking H.M.S. Walney, in an enterprise of desperate hazard, into the harbour of Oran on the 8th November, 1942. Captain Peters led his force through the boom towards the jetty in the face of point-blank fire from shore batteries, a Destroyer and a Cruiser. Blinded in one eye, he alone of the seventeen Officers and Men on the bridge survived. The Walney reached the jetty disabled and ablaze, and went down with her colours flying”

On 8 November 1942 Captain Peters, commanding in Walney, led his force through the boom towards the jetty in the face of point-blank fire from shore batteries, the sloop La Surprise, and the destroyer Epervier. Blinded in one eye, he alone of 11 officers and men on the bridge survived. Besides him, 13 ratings survived Walney sinking. The destroyer reached the jetty disabled and ablaze and went down with her colours flying. Captain Peters and a handful of men managed to reach the shore, where they were taken prisoner. Hartland came under fire from the French destroyer Typhon and blew up with the loss of half her crew. The survivors, like those of Walney, were taken prisoner as they reached shore.”

The survivors were released on 10 November 1942 when the French garrison surrendered. While coming back to Britain, Captain Peters was killed when the Sunderland he was on crash landed in Plymouth Sound in thick fog on 13 November 1942. His body was not recovered.

He is Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, panel 61 column 3

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 28/02/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:15
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